London 2012: Team GB misses out on cycling medal

Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan winning the men's road race
Image caption Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan took the gold

The British cycling team, including hotly tipped Mark Cavendish, has missed out on an Olympic gold medal in the men's road race.

The race was the most watched event in the first full day of games around the UK in 19 sports, ranging from shooting to tennis to swimming.

Meanwhile Olympic authorities are investigating why hundreds of seats were empty for popular events.

Earlier, the Queen met athletes during a visit to the Olympic Village.

Team GB's hopes of a first-day gold medal were dashed after Alexandre Vinokourov broke from the race's leading group to sprint to the finish, closely followed by Colombia's Rigoberto Uran. Norway's Alexander Kristoff took the bronze.

Cavendish told BBC Radio 5 live: "I can be proud of how the lads rode today. I'm proud of my country as there was incredible support. The guys are sat there, they are spent. They have got nothing left in the tank. It's incredible to see that. To see what they gave for the cause."

In other Olympic developments:

  • Fourteen-time Olympic gold medallist swimmer Michael Phelps could only manage fourth in the men's 400m individual medley, with fellow American Ryan Lochte winning gold

The BBC's Nick Hope said areas high in the stands at the sold-out event were full but several hundred more expensive seats closer to the pool were empty.

Locog confirmed some accredited seats - for press and media - were empty.

Groups of empty seats were also seen at Wimbledon's centre court during Saturday's tennis matches.

BBC Olympic correspondent James Pearce tweeted on Saturday night that more tickets had become available on the London 2012 website, including to athletics and swimming.

Name and shame

Locog chief Lord Coe has previously threatened to name and shame companies which do not use their tickets.

Earlier, the Queen toured the Olympic site following her surprise appearance with James Bond in a film shown during the opening ceremony.

She said she had been "very happy" to take part and was "delighted to be asked to be involved in something so exceptional".

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle won international praise for the ceremony.

Germany's Bild newspaper said, "a gigantic spectacle. What a show!" while Australia's Sydney Morning Herald said it was "an unforgettable start" and "breathtaking".

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge praised the event, saying it "bodes well for a successful Games".

"It demonstrated all that is good about British creativity," he added.

The first full day of Olympic events meant roads and public transport were busy, particularly with the cycling in London and Surrey.

London's Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy said: "Last night, all transport serving the spectacular opening ceremony ran well, getting everyone to the Olympic Park on time and home again."

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